Column: Jet lag affected Wigan but Warrington looked like their old self

Jet lag would have taken its toll on the Wigan players but let’s take nothing away from Warrington, who looked like the Wolves of old.

The Wolves beat the Warriors 16-10 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday night and even the scoreline indicates that it was a close game – it was anything but.

Warrington coach Steve Price said after the game: “The scoreline wasn’t a reflection of the game, especially with the first half and the amount of possession we had, I thought we should have come away with a more points.

“I felt like it should have been above 24 points but it wasn’t to be.”

And in my opinion, Price is right.

I don’t watch Warrington for the full game every single week, but it was the best performance I have seen them put in since they beat Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Series last February.

Wiganer Stefan Ratchford put in a man of the match display for the Wolves but how good does Bryson Goodwin look? No wonder he played 23 NRL games for South Sydney Rabbitohs last season – looks to be a big coup for the Wolves.

The Warriors squad only landed back in the UK on Monday morning and played on the Friday, but coach Shaun Wane insisted that jet leg was not to blame for their defeat.

When asked if the jet lag was a factor of why they lost, he said: “Definitely not – it was nothing to do with that at all.”

I’ve got a lot of respect for Wane because he never makes excuses as to why Wigan came out second best. He’s honest and as a member of the media, honesty is what you want to hear.

But I do think it could have played a part. I’ve never made the trip to Australia myself so I’ve not got first-hand experience in the body clock being on its backside, but I’ve noticed a few tweets from fans saying it took them two, or in some cases, three weeks to fully recover from the jet lag.

I can’t help but think that it did take a toll on the players. Even Warrington captain Chris Hill said after the game that he thinks the Wolves may have caught Wigan a little bit jet lagged and fair play to Hill for also being honest.

I think we’ll only see the best out of Warrington in six to eight games time – they need time to gel and get used to being under a new coach.

As for Wigan, they shouldn’t have a problem reaching the top four this year. Having Morgan Escaré coming off the bench adds a new dimension to the game and with Sam Tomkins moving to the halves when Escaré comes on, it makes for exciting rugby.

I’ve just about recovered from the cold last night and can just about feel my fingers as I type. It looks to be a good year for both clubs.

About Drew Darbyshire 8362 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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